Bottle of nerve agent found at Amesbury victim's house

Muggleton Road Amesbury Major Incident Kings Gate July 2018

Published by Ellie Harries at 5:10pm 13th July 2018. (Updated at 1:58pm 25th July 2018)

Police have confirmed they have found a container at the address of Charlie Rowley.

On Wednesday 11th July, a small bottle was recovered during searches of Charlie Rowley’s house in Muggleton Road in Amesbury.

Muggleton Road Major Incident In Amesbury July 2018
Charlie Rowleys home in Muggleton Road

It was taken to the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down for tests.

Following those tests, scientists have now confirmed to us that the substance contained within the bottle is Novichok.

Further scientific tests will be carried out to try and establish whether it is from the same batch that contaminated Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March – this remains a main line of enquiry for police.

Dawn Sturgess, from Durrington, died on Sunday (8th July) after being exposed to the nerve agent.

Dawn Sturgess and Charlie/Charles Rowley Amesbury Incident (Facebook)

Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley

Charlie remains in Salisbury District Hospital and is now conscious. 

Inquiries are under way to establish where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Charlie’s house.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of UK counter terrorism policing, said:

“This is clearly a significant and positive development. However, we cannot guarantee that there isn’t any more of the substance left and cordons will remain in place for some considerable time.

"This is to allow thorough searches to continue as a precautionary measure for public safety and to assist the investigation team.

“I also appreciate there is a lot of interest in this; however, we are not in a position to disclose any further details regarding the bottle at this stage."

Basu also confirmed that officers from the investigation team have spoken to Charlie and will be speaking to him further to establish how he and Dawn came to be contaminated.

This contact is being done in close consultation with the hospital and the doctors.

Kier Pritchard
Chief Constable Kier Pritchard

Chief Constable for Wiltshire Police, Kier Pritchard said: 

“Today’s update from the investigation team is both significant and encouraging.

“I hope that it will further reassure our communities in both Amesbury and Salisbury that the investigation, although complex, is  meticulous.

“The way that we do this might start to look slightly different from next week when private security guards will join my officers on some of the cordons.

“This will free up some Wiltshire Police officers to get back to supporting day-to-day community policing."

ADVICE FROM PUBLIC HEALTH:

Public Health England say their advice remains the same following this latest development:

 

 

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